Search public satellite imagery for visually similar objects.
Ever wanted to quickly find all instances of wind turbines in Europe? Or orchards? Or football fields? Descartes Labs has just released a simple in-browser tool that allows you to do just that.
GeoVisual Search is essentially a search engine for satellite imagery. Using machine learning, it lets users visually query images for similar geographic features.
For example, let’s say I wanted to search the globe for satellite imagery of city beaches. To do so, I simply zoomed into the Australian coastline and selected a tile of beach in a city:
Within seconds, the platform lit up with red dots to indicate similar tiles:
The platform is built on satellite imagery from Landsat, the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), and PlanetScope.
To catalogue similar tiles, the team used a deep learning algorithm that classified each tile based on its visual fingerprint – colours, edges, and other features unique to the tile. Then, once a tile is selected, the algorithm compares every other image to that fingerprint and returns the best matches.
The project is still in demo-mode and the developers are working on ways to increase accuracy and providing more inclusive counts. Next, they’re looking to focus on object detection at scale.
Explore GeoVisual Search here.